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Top 10 Best Road Cycle Racers Of All Time

This is a list of the top ten best road bicycle racers of all time. My criteria are that the bicycle racers have performed well in both the three big stage races – Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – but also in the minor stage races such as Tour de Suisse, Paris-Nice and Dauphiné Libéré and the Classics like Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I have not looked at doping verdicts or accusations as trying to separate the “clean” from the “guilty” would lead to absolute chaos.

10

Jan Ullrich

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Jan Ullrich is a German former bicycle racer born in 1973. He won the Tour de France in 1997, the white jersey in 1996, 1997 and 1998, and he has 5 second places in the Tour, this earned him the nickname: The Eternal Second. Ullrich has also won Vuelta a España in 1999 and the Tour de Suisse in 2004 and 2006. Other notable wins are the World Time Trial Champion in 1999 and 2001 and the Olympic Road Race in 2000. Ullrich is a powerful bicycle racer with a soft, athletic style, but he often got out of shape during the off-season and had problems losing the extra weight before racing the big races.

9

Lance Armstrong

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The American Lance Armstrong holds the record of most victories in Tour de France with his 7 consecutive wins. Armstrong also won the 2001 Tour de Suisse and the World Cycling Championship in 1993. This earns him a place on this list, but because Armstrong never impressed in the Giro D’Italia, the Vuelta a España or the Classics, I can’t place him any higher on the list.


8

Miguel Indurain

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Miguel Indurain was born in Spain in 1964. He has won the Tour de France 5 times in a row and the Giro D’Italia 2 times in a row. He has also won the Olympic Time-Trial Championship in 1996 and the World Time-Trial Championship in 1995, as well as two wins in both Dauphiné Libéré and Paris-Nice.
Indurain was relatively big compared to other professional riders – 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) and 80 kg (176 lbs) – this earned him the nickname “Miguelón”, meaning “Big Mig”. At the top of his career, Miguel Indurain had a physique that was not only superior when compared to average people, but also when compared to his fellow athletes. His blood circulation had the ability to circulate 7 liters of blood around his body per minute, compared to the average amount of 3-4 liters of an ordinary person and the 5-6 liters of his fellow riders.

7

Fausto Coppi

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Fausto Coppi was born in Italy in 1919. He won the Tour de France twice, in 1949 and 1952, and the Giro D’Italia five times in 1940, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953. He also won the World Championship in 1953, the Giro di Lombardia in 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1954, the Milan-Sanremo in 1946, 1948 and 1949, and the Paris-Roubaix and the La Flèche Wallonne in 1950

6

Felice Gimondi

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Felice Gimondi was born in Italy in 1942. In 1968 Gimondi was nicknamed “The Phoenix” after winning the Vuelta a España, this victory made him the second rider after Jacques Anquetil to win all three big stage races, he is one of only five riders to ever win all three. Gimondi won the Tour de France in 1965, the Giro D’Italia in 1967, 1969 and 1973 and the Vuelta a España in 1968. Gimondi also won Paris-Roubaix in 1966 and the World Road Cycling Championship in 1973.

5

Gino Bartali

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Gino Bartali was born in Italy on 1914. He has won the Tour de France twice, in 1938 and 1948, both times also winning the mountain competition, and the Giro D’Italia three times in 1936, 1937 and 1946, also here he won the mountain competition all three times. Bartali also won the Tour de Suisse in 1946 and 1947. Bartali was a good climber and a pioneer of derailleur gears. His style was unusual: he rarely danced on the pedals and often stayed in the saddle throughout a 15km climb. When others attacked, he stayed in the saddle but changed up gear, to a sprocket three teeth smaller.
He rode smoothly on mountains but every now and then freewheeled, always with his right foot lowered with his weight on it. Then a second or two later he would start pedaling again.


4

Séan Kelly

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Séan Kelly was born in Ireland in 1956, and became one the most successful rider of the 1980s and the best Classics rider of all times. His wins include the Vuelta a España in 1988, 4 point class wins in both the Tour de France and the Giro D’Italia, 7 consecutive win in Paris-Nice form 1982 – 1988, 2 wins in Tour de Suisse, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liége.

3

Jacques Anquetil

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Jacques Anquetil was born in France in 1934. He has won the Tour de France five time, in 1957 and 1961-1964, the Giro D’Italia twice in 1960 and 1964, the Vuelta a España in 1936 and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1966. Anquetil also holds several records:

– He was the first to the Tour de France five times
– He was the first to win all three big stage races
– He was the first French rider to win the Giro D’Italia
– He was the first French rider to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France form the first day to the last.


2

Bernard Hinault

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Bernard Hinault was born in France in 1954, and is one of only five riders to have won all three big stage races, and the only to have won each more than once. Hinault is the only rider ever to have finished either first or second in each Tour de France he finished. He won the Tour de France in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985, the Giro D’Italia in 1980, 1982 and 1985 and the Vuelta a España in 1978 and 1983. Among Hinault many other victories are Paris-Roubaix in 1981, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1977 and 1980 and the World Road Cycling Championship in 1980.

1

Eddy Merckx

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Eddy Merchx was born in Belgium in 1945 and became the best road bicycle racer the world has ever seen. He won the Tour de France 5 times in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974, the Giro D’Italia 5 times in 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973 and 1974 and the Vuelta a España once in 1973. Merckx also won the Tour de Suisse once, Paris-Nice 3 times, Dauphné-Libéré once, Paris-Roubaix 3 times, Liège-Bastogne-Liége 5 times and the World Road Race Championship 3 times. Eddy Merckx is also one of only five riders to win all three big stage races during their career, the four others are: Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Josh Plum

    Coool.. i always wanted to try out one of those 5000 dollar bikes

  • NoE

    i tought my bike run from work ment alot …i guess not

  • jolijoli

    what kind of feet do they have!

  • thomas

    YES EDDY EDDY BELGIUM BELGIUM!!

  • debutrans

    belgium ftw!

  • mexecution

    Saves on gas money pedal power ftw

  • a reader

    Always interesting to see whether people place Coppi or Bartali first…
    I am not sure, I would have included Ullrich – He had the talent definately, but in my oppinion if to be judged his actual perfomances he don’t belong in the leage with the rest.

  • Italian

    I am Italian, and here nobody would ever place Coppi after Gimondi.
    In Italy, Coppi is considered by the majority the best bicycle racer we ever had.

  • Ajezz

    I was interested so I did a quick search:
    Eight drivers from this Top Ten list are confirmed or confessing dopers.
    A ninth (Indurain) has been believably accused of doping during the trial against Festina.
    The only driver on this list who probably did not cheat is Hinault.

  • elise

    you mean lance armstrong was on the juice?!

  • maximuz04

    LoL @ #9… I guess another sport which will forever have asterisks in the rankings. booooo

    The only one I knew was lance… not rly my sport.

  • Ajezz

    Armstrong was tested positively in the 1999 Tour de France on EPO when they retested frozen blood samples in 2004.

    • Jeff

      That is not a proven fact. The French lab has generally been accepted as tainting the samples

    • LaLa

      actually they take 15 samples and Armstrong only tested positive to about 5 of them which were taken right after he race so his numbers would be higher so it is nothing is proven for sure. he is just very talented which people have a hard time excepting.

  • MadMonkey

    What, no Greg Lemond?

  • Butthurt portuguese

    i REALLY was expecting an honorable mention to Joaquim Agostinho. Oh well…

  • Haas

    The best drivers are the one that got the best drugs that is nt found by medics?

  • damien_karras

    #7’s face looks as if it were chisled from granite.

  • Crumpet

    “Top 10 Best Road Cycle Racers Of All Time” oh who cares.

  • smurff

    Not my type of sport – but shit if some rider makes a mistake while they are all bunched up, he takes out quite a few of his competitors as well.

  • oouchan

    I am not familar with many of these racers, but it was an interesting read this morning. And after reading each of the descriptions, I can understand why Armstrong wasn’t higher. Good list.

  • Anonimous

    Coppi should definitely be ranked higher in the list, i’d place him second or third (at least i would not put him behind Gimondi, that’s kinda crazy to see).
    And Sean Kelly’s fourth place confuses me. He is not that good, seriously.
    Agree with Merckx and Armstrong, anyway.

  • DC

    Wait so is it Merckx or merchx?

  • AnonX

    Steroid-monkeys on wheels, very interesting.

  • BFXer

    for another sport with asterisks like baseball what about earlier ‘superstars’ of the sport prior to stringent testing. Cyclings been notorious for performance drug abuse. It didn’t just begin recently been going on for decades.

  • Lnne

    I think you forgot a couple more Belgians on this list though! (y)

  • Lnne

    @ DC, number 21 : it’s Merckx.

  • illegal_immigrant

    I would probably like this list if I were into road bicycle racing… uhh… good list? I’ve only ever heard of Lance Armstrong. Heh. My bad.

  • ThomasA

    Great to see Eddy Merckx on nr 1, because he is indeed the best ever.
    Cycling is only popular in the Flemish part of belgium though, and I would consider him more Flemish then belgian.
    No offence to the French part :)

  • Shagrat

    Signe – this would be THE most inaccurate list of all time!
    How the #@%& can you place Armstrong at 9th?????
    Eddie Merckx: Absolutely a definite #2 – but Armstrong must be #1 simply due to the fact that he won 7 of them – – – – consecutively!!! AND he won them after overcoming a cancer which came close to killing him several times; 99.9% of people who got to the point Armstrong reached DON’T recover – they croak!
    BTW: not only was Armstrong’s “positive” 2004 drug re-test actually false; the drugs they found were anti-cancer drugs; NOT performance enhancers! Armstrong was cleared.
    Finally: Italian – you’re an idiot: if Coppi’ss the best you can provide; you’re pretty hard up – and he was a cheat!

  • buckshotwheelieclamps

    yay first comment! salsa and chips!!

  • ThomasA

    @ shagrat
    there are more races then just the tour de France.

  • RandyM

    What a Euro-Centric list! Just kidding… I always see comments about how American so many lists are, I thought I’d see how it feels to be on the complaining side!

    Seriously, Interesting list.

  • Joe13

    The drugs are a part of all sports now. Steroids won’t make a mediocre athlete into a great athlete. The relative skill and endurance levels are still the same, just all up a notch. If you’re good at a sport, you gotta use the juice cause the guy across town who’s equally good is gonna use it. Can we get drugs out of sports? Well, how effective has the War on Drugs been so far? Let’s face it, we live in druggy times, especially here in the USA, from ritalin to viagra, prozac and the statins. We’re going to prosecute the use of drugs? We should GET REAL instead. We’re all queer. We’re all more or less here. Maybe we could just get used to it.

    I know someone’s going to hit me about the Q word. Just so you know, I’m using it in the old sense: in this case, a drug induced slight alteration that nobody notices but has changed the way we think and communicate, possibly for the better, actually.

  • Very interesting list. Thanks.
    What some readers may not be aware of is the danger inherent in bicycle racing. If the organizers of the race have not done their job ahead of the race, blocking off cross streets, putting up warning signs, etc. accidents happen, often fatal.
    For example: In a bicycle race in VA. Triathlon participant G*** T***** died midway through the competition after his bicycle crashed into a woman’s car. The car was on a road which was supposed to have been blocked off, being one that ran straight through the race course. G*** t-boned the car and died. The woman suffered deep emotional scars which are still, 9 years after the fact, haunting her.
    Sure, there’s no sport that’s absolutely 100% safe (ok,ok, ping pong , shuttle coq, and shuffle board), but these guys are always in danger.
    That’s not to say I disapprove of the sport! No! I love it. It’s exciting and who doesn’t doesn’t love to look at those amazingly beautiful asses and arms!

  • Hey yo! I used to love watching the Tour on TV, and got used to all the names pretty quickly. Those guys are amazing – I used to want to have a go myself – but after cycling aroung Creté on holiday once I realised I’d need to by roughly 10000x fitter. Hats off to Lance for winning for the U.S. and battling on several fronts at once. Perhaps this urge to get back and win was the one thing that pulled him through. They say you are many times more likely to overcome the ‘C’ word if you have something to live/fight for.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the list, and I put a wish out there to see a similar one on F1 sometime.

  • timmy the frisky virus

    What? No Pee-wee Herman?

  • dedub

    The problem with this list is that post-Lemond, we now live in an era of specialists (i.e., Armstrong), who focus on one main event per year. There’s simply no one left who can “do it all” like Merckx or Hinault. You’d be much better off comparing the best riders of the (a) pre-WWII era, (b) 1950s to 1990s, and (c) current era.

  • Matt987897

    Don’t know any of these besides Lance Armstrong, and he wasn’t even #1. I mean, c’mon, he only gots one nuts.

    this list = epic listverse fail

  • tron

    racist as fuck!

  • Tom Dixon

    Comparing one-day races (classics) to tours is like comparing apples to oranges. This is begging for two separate lists

  • Exlud

    I am an admirer of several of these athletes.
    Did they use performance enhancing drugs? I really can’t say, nor would I fault them for it. The drive to win leads folks to do some pretty stupid things. Maybe a shortened life is worth being in the record books.

  • howie

    Two separate lists! Thats what this subject needs…. so we could all be 2x as disinterested!

  • Frank

    Jacques Anquetil was born in France in 1934. He has won the Tour de France five time, in 1957 and 1961-1964, the Giro D’Italia twice in 1960 and 1964, the Vuelta a España in 1936 and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1966.

    So he was 2 when he won the Vuelta a España??
    Fair effort.

  • Kennoth

    @Frank

    Haha nice catch. I guess he was superior for his age ;)

  • The_Snowdog

    What?

    No Marcus sommers or David Sommers? What about Muzzin? You gotta have Muzzin on the list!

    oh…wait…I’m thinking of the movie American Flyers….

    oh well…only ones I have heard of are Indurain, Ulrich, and Armstrong.

    BTW, why does the picture for Coppi (# 7) remind me of Tony Hawk…

  • WisconsinDeathTrip

    You can make two separate lists but Merckx would still be on top of both of them.

  • Cazza

    The trick to winning is apparently to wear yellow.

    Anyone else notice a lot of them were wearing yellow?

  • wha

    Armstrong never tested positive for anything despite being the most drug tested athlete in the world.

    The bitter French doctored one of Armstrong’s drug test years after the fact, and desperately tried to push that as “proof”.

    The world knows it’s all lies, and Armstrong went over there and won their damn race seven times in a row. The hell with them.

  • 596

    I’ve never commented before but I feel I must about this list.
    I hate Lance Armstrong…but I never really knew why. I just did. Since a few days ago, I now have a reason. I watched a Michael J. Fox special with him as a guest, I realize how much of a wuss he really is. They showed him in a race where there was a pile-up and he was in it. He broke his collarbone and it was right then and there as he sat in the mud he thought about giving up on biking…But then (as the program describes)he worked through the pain and was back on his bike in 6 weeks. It’s a miracle. Not! I am a road/mountain biker and I broke my collarbone also. You get your arm in a sling and I was better in a month. But I will admit, I didn’t go back to biking as soon as Lance did….I had to save up to repair my bent wheel. Lance probably has a 100 bikes in his mansion to pick from. He probably had his handlers throw his bike out if it was damaged and help him to the hospital…I carried my bike 10 blocks home with my good arm and then went to the hospital.

  • I lost my Livestrong wristband…

  • Shagrat

    ThomasA – I am more than aware there are more races than the ‘Le Tour’: BUT, Le Tour is the biggest, the hardest, the longest and creates the greatest attrition among riders and teams.
    GREAT riders are generally determined by the amount of Tours they win – or not Or consecutively – whether they can gain a yellow jersey during its course – or a green jersey for the time-trial section winners.

    Does ‘A’ stand for ‘ass’ or ‘asshole’?? or possibly ‘acerebral’

  • Mark

    50. Shagrat : No, *good* riders are generally determined by their Tour performances. Great road cyclists however must perform on more than one stage. Le Tour is a different race to the Giro – although I don’t know whether I would rate the Vuelta nearly as highly – and should be waited accordingly.

  • darkglam

    LOL Sean Keally nº 4.

  • Toobey

    I’m glad you didn’t put Armstrong any higher. Even #9 was probably a gift. While he might have captured the average American’s praises, most U.S. cyclists have little respect for the guy. Minus the hunting accident in the prime of his career, I think there’s no doubt Greg Lemond would have been able to make this list.

  • lostin

    I’m always suspicious of people who don’t acknowledge that Armstrong is the greatest cyclist to ever live. Not one time has he ever been caught with any illegal substance. Though the Frenchies tried hard to make people think he was guilty of consuming those substances.

    Accusation is all one has to do to force people to believe someone is guilty.

    Oh well.

  • Mark

    53. Toobey : The fella holds the record for the most consecutive victories in the biggest road cycling event in the world, No.1 was adequate.

  • ChrisS

    It always makes me a little bit disappointed when people who don’t follow cycling at all trumpet Armstrong as the best ever. Yes, winning the Tour de France that many times was a great achievement, but I do believe it is somewhat tarnished by the fact that it is the only race he seriously attempted. It would be like Roger Federer not even competing in the French, U.S or Australian Open, but winning Wimbledon a bunch of times – can you imagine the criticism he’d get?

    Besides, the idea that any cyclist could ever be better than Merckx is just ludicrous to anyone who follows cycling for more than just one race a year, and who has paid attention for more than the last decade.

  • ChrisS

    Or other comparisons:

    – Michael Schumacher only ever competing at Monaco
    – Tiger Woods only ever competing in the Masters
    – Australia only competing in The Ashes

    The list could go on.

  • Mark

    57. ChrisS : “…Australia only competing in The Ashes…”

  • Holmes

    Gino Bartali “rode smoothly on mountains but every now and then freewheeled, always with his right foot lowered with his weight on it. Then a second or two later he would start pedaling again”.

    This sound remarkably like indurain in the mountains, usually on a hairpin, but unlike Bartali he was considerably heavier!!

  • Xthye

    he rarely danced on the pedals and often stayed in the saddle throughout a 15km climb

    This totally amaze me. I cant even sit down to pedal up hill for 1 kilometer :X

  • Gabriel Vargas

    Merckx will always be the first. Just like Hendrix on the eletric guitars. If we point what they COULD achieve, I believe Lance could win everything, even very-specialized races like Paris-Roubaix, track hour-record, etc.

  • ThomasA

    @Shagrat,

    how mature, that last remark.
    Did you come up with it yourself? or did you have some of your 10 year old friends to help you with it?

  • Toobey

    55. Mark. Uh yeah, pretty clear you don’t know much about the sport. Merckx won total of 445 professional races (between ’69-’75 he won 35% of the races he entered). Lance has 14 major victories. Get a clue kid.

  • gixxer17md

    Guys, Anybody know Greg LeMond?

    It seem you forgot him, he defeated most of the guys in the list…..

    1979
    UCI Road World Championships U23 Road Race
    1980
    Member, United States Olympic Cycling Team
    1981 – Renault-Elf-Gitane
    First year as a professional.

    Coors Classic (1st overall; 2 stage wins)
    Tour of Oise (1 stage win)
    1982 – Renault-Elf-Gitane
    Tour de l’Avenir (1st overall; 3 stage wins)
    UCI Road World Championships Road Race (2nd-Silver Medal)
    Tour Méditerranéen (2nd overall)
    Giro di Lombardia (2nd)
    Grand Prix des Nations (2nd)
    1983 – Renault-Elf-Gitane
    UCI Road World Championships Road Race (1st – Gold Medal)
    Dauphiné Libéré (1st overall; 3 stage wins)
    Tour Méditerranéen (Stage 1 win)
    1984 – Renault
    Tour de France (3rd overall; 1st young rider, 1st Stage 3 Team Time Trial)
    Liège-Bastogne-Liège (3rd)
    Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (3rd overall; Stage 7b win)
    Tirreno-Adriatico (5th overall)
    1985 – La Vie Claire
    UCI Road World Championships Road Race (2nd – Silver Medal)
    Coors Classic (1st overall; Stage 5 win)
    Tour de France (2nd overall; 2nd points; 1st Stage 21 ITT)
    Giro d’Italia (3rd overall)
    Vuelta al País Vasco (2nd overall)
    Paris-Roubaix (4th)
    Omloop Het Volk (4th)
    1986 – La Vie Claire
    Tour de France (1st overall; Stage 13 win; 7 days in maillot jaune)
    Giro d’Italia (4th overall; Stage 5 win)
    Milan-Sanremo (2nd)
    Coors Classic (2nd overall; Stage 5 win)
    Tour de Suisse (3rd overall; 1st points classification)
    Paris-Nice (3rd overall)
    Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (6th overall; Stage 4 win)
    1988
    Tour of the Americas (2nd overall)
    1989 – ADR
    Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
    ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year
    UCI Road World Championships Road Race (1st – Gold Medal)
    Tour de France (1st overall; Stage 5 ITT win; Stage 19 win; Stage 21 Champs-Élysées ITT; 7 days in maillot jaune)
    Tour of the Americas (3rd overall)
    Corestates U.S. Pro Cycling Championships (9th)
    Giro d’Italia (39th overall)
    1990 – Z
    ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year
    Tour de France (1st overall; 2 days in maillot jaune)
    Züri-Metzgete (2nd)
    UCI Road World Championships Road Race (4th)
    Giro d’Italia (105th overall)
    1991 – Z
    World’s Most Outstanding Athlete Award, Jesse Owens International Trophy
    Tour de France (7th overall; 6 days in maillot jaune)
    Tour DuPont (12th overall)
    1992 – Z
    USA Cycling’s Korbel Lifetime Achievement Award
    Tour DuPont (1st overall; Prologue (ITT))
    1996
    Inductee, United States Bicycling Hall of Fame
    1999
    Fox Sports Network’s “50 Greatest Athletes of the Century”
    2006
    International Cycling Center’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” winner

  • frakke

    Hi, I’m not going to be nitpicking, but Eddy Merckx is written correctly in the header of the top 10, but wrong in the text just below where it’s put ‘Merchx’ (with a ‘h’ i.s.o. a ‘k’.
    I think we owe it to the greatest champ of all times to write him down correctly…

  • anonoymous

    Im a ex-professional cyclist and have raced against Sean Kelly, Lance Armstrong, Miguel Indurain and Jan Ullrich. They are all superstars and demoralise you psychologically. Comparing modern days superstars is frought with danger as you are comparing apples with oranges. In modern times, bike technology in the last 15yrs has changed more than the previous 70yrs, different training techniques are employed all the time, better roads are available, far superior sports medicine techonolody and with the amount of money invested by a sponsor with a vested interest it is just not possible for a modern day cyclist to be in form year round. For example, United States Postal Service (Lance’s ex team) existed for Lance to win the tour. His job was to hand pick the riders to be able to win the Tour. He did not have to be in form for the Giro or the Vuelta as they were not races that his sponsor had a vested interest in. Comparing the Giro and the Tour is interesting as well. In the tour, the rider with the best team,tactics and who is smartest, not necessarily the strongest will win. Why? Because the climbs in France are not as steep but longer than both Italy and Spain and are more suited to a power rider/time trialest as a climber will not be able to get as much time becuase the power rider is not disadvantaged by their greater weight. But in the Giro and Vuelta the climbs are shorter and much steeper so a climber will be able to put much more time into a power rider as the weight difference will be more visible both on the road and GC. Having said that, all of the listed 10 riders are greats in their own way, so listing them although is fun is not a true reflection of the rider they are, it is only comparing results.

  • Corey

    Looks like the author took the easy way out and published a list of great cyclists naming those that raced 25-75 years ago as the best. So easy to just look at wins and places and determine the best. Much harder when you consider courses raced and competition in each race. Notice there is no mention of records broken, margin of victory, and other important factors when determining how good someone of a certain era was.

    Would like to see a more in depth list made taking more factors into consideration than just wins. Winning against weak competition is not that impressive. Crushing opponents rather than slim margins can show dominance. Repeatedly winning events when you are favored and everyone is gunning to get you. Those are marks of true champions, not just wins.

  • javiveras

    Nice list.

    I totally agree with Armstrong being part of the top10, but not of the Top5. He’s been the best “Tour de France” biker, there’s no doubt, but dedicating his career exclusively to that race. Fortunately for the cyclism lovers “Le Tour” is the main race, but not the only. There are at least two other “long” races [Vuelta and Giro], and winning any of those the same year you win the Tour is mandatory to be considered a #1. Apart from the one-day classics, that require completely different preparation than the previous races.

    In my opinion there’s absolutely no doubt that Merckx is the #1 and none of the others are even close to him.

    The only name I would take out of that list is Ullrich, and put some others like Lemond.

  • Frank

    I agree that Coppi should go in front of Gimondi. LeMond was the one who started the idea of just riding the tour, something Lance quickly picked up on. However in doing so, LeMond also made the Tour what it is today, isn’t that ironic enough?

    Stage racing may be hard but it is “luxury cycling” compared to one day classics such as de Ronde or Paris-Roubaix.

    LeMond also floated the idea that today’s riders can only focus on one race, something Indurain quickly disproved and which really did a disservice to the sport.

    Merckx is number one by a long shot. I also agree with Hinault in second and Lance in the top 10 but not the top 5. But I do think Indurain should be higher up, maybe in 4th or so.

  • jackass

    Maybe a top 20 …..and also the best ever tour de frances would be great…. Fingnon v Le Mond!!!!

    They are all great… read up on Coppi! Also Hinault breaking his nose in the race and carrying on!

  • Luxie

    Lance Armstrong never even participated at the Vuelta or Giro (as far as I know) being only interested in the Tour de France, considered the World Cup of cycling. Besides the fact that the French tour is the most complex and hard tour, only the best members of each team participate at this level, making the tour so competitive!

  • Ultrapro

    Eddy is without a doubt Nr 1.
    Lance is Nr 2. Because Le Tour is definitely the hardest cycling race to win and hes done it 7 times, two more than Merckx actually. The sport has evolved quit a bit since the 40-s to 60s and the competition is alot harder now than it was in the old days. Ullrich on this list is a joke. Contador has won all three major tours in 14 month and should be on nr 10.

  • Stunt Man Mike…

    What’s the deal with the roadie fag list? I thought this was top 10 MOTORCYLE racers. Somebody get on it…I already know # 1…. Mike “The Bike” Hailwood.

  • Sol

    You’d have to be mad if you thought you could do Le Tour without drugs, man.

    But yes, these 10 men, are the supermen of our time. Absolutely fucking insane.

    Interesting fact: Competing in Le Tour knocks 10 years off your life due to the physical exertion.

  • Tor

    Eddy Merckx is no1 in any list of cyclists – as previously mentioned he’s 1 of only 5 ever to win all of the Grand Tours (France, Italy and Spain). But also he’s 1 of only 3 to have won each of the 5 monuments of one day racing and the only cyclist in both those lists.
    Coppi as only the 3rd best Italian is a joke – imo he’s better than Hinault and deserves 2nd best of all time. To my knowledge, he’s the only rider that Merckx ever stated might’ve been better than himself.
    For the record, Ullrich was only the latest in a long line of riders dubbed the ‘Eternal Second’ and to most cyclists, the Eternal Second was Raymond Poulidor. Fat Jan did squander much of his talent but didn’t achieve enough to be in the top 10. Lemond should prob take his place. And I think we can be fairly sure that Contador will soon deserve his place in the list.

  • dalinean

    Yes, lance deserves to be higher on this list and Greg Lemond should be here … somewhere..

  • slappy

    lance is a cheat and will be exposed soon

  • Roberto

    1.Merckx
    2.Coppi
    3.Hinault
    4.Bartali
    5.Armstrong
    6.Binda
    7.Indurain
    8.Gimondi
    9.Bobet
    10. Girardengo

    May Be

  • Ho Chi Menace

    @596 [48]:

    Dude have you lost your mind…why you wanna throw salt…dont be a hater. And for the rest of you Creeps and Degenerates Bike riding is big business now and Lance is smart enough to pick the biggest event to focus on.If he can slay the competition in the TDF surely he would handily dispatch the competition in any other event. Bicycling wouldnt be where it is today without Lance Armstrong

    SHOW THE LOVE………..His record and achievements speak for themselves …I know its romantic to look back to the old timers, I love them too and we must pay homage to them, but "GET REAL"

    • Thomas

      Please… As if the winners of the tour are allmighty… I’d love to see Contador race Paris-Roubaix or any race in Flanders, he’d get butchered. This list should be called ‘best TDF/Vuelta/Giro racers’, because it seriously lacks 1-day racers.

  • stan

    shit list.. indurain should be number one ! followed by eddy, bernard, armstrong and alberto contador ! hes won way more than ulrich

  • Rogelio

    Jan Ullrich? are you serious? Moser was 1 million time better… De Vlaeminck… Jalabert and son on

  • Ewave

    Think that this list is flawed. Like the list here better:

    http://www.cyclinghalloffame.com/riders/alltime100.asp

  • anopionatedguy

    Miguel indurain may of won the tour 5 times but these were edgey victories, some of the others onthe list,merkx and armstrong for example absolutely dominated the tours. and i know its not all about the tour but armstrong doesnt dserve the abuse – have any of you even watch the climb where he fell off broke a pedal and then went straight past ullrich like he wasnt there?. also to anyone who believes a sprinter should be in this list is clearly an idiot, with very few exeptions anyone who cant climb has done poorly in the grand tours.

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